5 September 2023 (Term 3 Week 8)
Dear St Joseph’s Community
We are rapidly approaching the end of the term and our Family Day celebrations. It has been exciting speaking to our teachers recently who are talking about the tangible growth in student writing we are seeing, based on the efforts of our staff. Our students are working very hard to succeed in their writing goals and I know how proud our teachers are of their efforts!
In this week’s Gospel reading, (Matthew 16:21-27) Jesus teaches His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things. Peter, one of His disciples, is shocked and rebukes Jesus, saying this should never happen. Jesus in return emphasises the importance of "taking up one's cross" and following Him, saying, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." At its core, this teaching is about facing life’s challenges with grace, courage, and a sense of purpose. In our role as parents, we bear many crosses each day in the form of the sacrifices we make for our children's well-being, even when it's difficult. It could mean persevering in teaching them values like kindness, empathy, and respect, even when the world around them seems to be teaching the opposite. It's about facing the hardships, the difficult conversations, and the challenges that come with raising a family and seeing them as a part of a bigger journey. We all have our crosses to bear - responsibilities, challenges, unexpected turns in the road. They're a part of our human experience. But these crosses, these challenges, are often the very experiences that shape us and give our lives depth and meaning. These crosses are also much easier to bear when we unite our sacrifice with the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. As we go through this week, let's think about what "crosses" we bear as parents and caregivers. Let’s remember that we are not alone in our journey. In our school community, we strive to support each other as we all learn to carry our crosses with dignity and hope.
2024-2026 STRATEGIC PLANNING
Following our school review, our staff has been incredibly busy collaboratively designing our 2024-2026 Strategic Plan. Our plan sees us developing goals and priorities for 5 key domains: Mission, Family and Community Partnerships, Catholic Leadership, Learning and Teaching and Pastoral Care. We hope to have our plan finalised early in Term 4 and ready to share with our parents and community for feedback. From here, we will develop our 2024 School Annual Improvement Plan, where we will further narrow and sharpen our focus for improvement for the calendar year. Exciting times ahead as we seek the best possible outcomes for our students.
FATHER’S DAY STALL
A huge thank you to the PSF members for their work on the Father’s Day Stall. A particular thanks to Kellie Wilkes for her work in organising this and all of those parents who gave their time to support this event.
OUR BELL TIMES - SHARE YOUR VOICE
We are in the process of planning some of our structures for 2024, including new structures for the timetable for each day. Our guiding principle is to ensure we are supporting the learning and wellbeing of our students. We currently have a team working on what this might look like.
One aspect we are considering is the start times of our day. Currently, our first bell rings at 9:00 am. We have one bus (Mouse Bus) that is scheduled to arrive at 8:58 but which usually arrives slightly earlier. We also know there are a number of other bus options which arrive earlier.
In light of this, for 2024, we are considering moving the first bell to either 8:50 OR 8:55. This would put us more closely in line with the other Catholic schools in our region and provide us with more time to support students in their learning and wellbeing needs. We would like your feedback on this proposed change. If you could, over the next two weeks, complete this Google Form, we would be very appreciative.
PARISH SCHOOL FORUM (PSF)
A couple of weeks ago at the PSF meeting, Janita Thomson and Jo Kelly, from the Catholic School’s Office Family School Partnerships Team, presented the two Parent Forum Models which all schools in the Diocese will need to move towards in 2024. The reason for this change is because the change in the governance model means that our current model of the PSF needs to be amended; and to ensure Diocesan-wide consistency. The two models are explained in the image below and more information can be accessed at the link below (Parent Representative Bodies Document). Parents and carers are invited to indicate their preference for the new model via the survey link below. The two models will be discussed further at an additional Parish School Forum evening in Term 4. The date is yet to be scheduled but will be advertised via the newsletter and Compass. We invite all interested parents to join us for this meeting.
We are delighted to be celebrating Family Day on Thursday 21st September.
The theme for the day is “Read! Grow! Inspire!”
9:15 - FAMILY LITURGY IN MCCARTHY HALL
We invite all family and friends to join us for this special Liturgy. There will be plenty of seating inside the hall.
10:15 - BYO PICNIC MORNING TEA
Families are asked to bring their own morning tea and join in a school wide picnic. Coffee, tea and cold drinks will be available from the canteen.
10:45 - 2:15 - ROTATION OF ACTIVITIES
Students and their families will travel in groups through five different activities based on the theme “Read! Grow! Inspire!”. Family and friends are invited to join in the fun.
Fr Max is kindly supplying lunch for all of our students, staff and visitors. To assist us with the catering and dietary requirements, could you please complete this form by Monday 11th September.
Our annual Book Fair will be held in the library. Family and friends are invited to purchase books as a donation to our school library. Each book will have a donor book plate added to it as a sign of appreciation. Books have been hand selected for our library from the Book Warehouse Lismore. Cash sales and EFTPOS will be available.
All of the classrooms and learning spaces will be open on the day. Feel free to have a look around and explore our school.
The canteen will be selling cold drinks and snacks. Lunch is a BBQ, for catering purposes please complete this form by Monday 11th September.
All students, staff, family and friends are invited to dress up on the day. The theme is “Read! Grow! Inspire!” Come dressed as your favourite book character; the person who inspires you; a tree! The options are endless. Please note: students must have covered footwear and no bare shoulders or midriffs.
Learning & Teaching News
Well done to all of those students who participated in our Gift of the Gab competition. We were blown away by the confidence and enthusiasm our students displayed. An extra congratulations to those students who will be representing our school at the interschools competition at St Carthage’s Lismore in Week 9. It is not an easy thing to get in front of an audience and present, so you should be really proud of your efforts. We will have an opportunity to hear from the students who will be delivering a speech at our assembly this Friday.
Year Level Winners
Year 1 Poetry
Bronte Sugden, Aiyanna Fields
Year 2 Poetry
Matilda Hollows, Chloe O’Bryan
Year 3 Poetry
Lachlan Lewis-Hughes, Mitchell Charter
Year 4 Poetry
Year 5 Poetry
Hugh Wooley, James Cormick
Year 6 Poetry
Toby Conlon, Ella Creighton-Kemp
Year 3 Speech
Year 4 Speech
Year 5 Speech
Year 6 Speech
Students progressing to interschools competition at St Carthage's on the 15th September:
Stage 1 Poetry
Matilda Hollows and Chloe O’Bryan
Stage 2 Poetry
Lachlan Lewis-Hughes and Mitchell Charter
Stage 3 Poetry
Toby Conlon and Ella Creighton-Kemp
Stage 2 Speech
Indy Vu and Zara Towns
Stage 3 Speech
Emma Quinlan and Peter Carroll
PROBE READING ASSESSMENTS
Over the next few weeks, students in Years 3 to 6 will be completing a PROBE, a reading comprehension assessment. We will use the data collected from these comprehension assessments to inform our teaching and learning.
WHAT IS COMPREHENSION?
Comprehension is the ‘power of mind to understand’. You could view ‘reading’ and ‘comprehension’ as one and the same in that no reading can be said to have taken place unless the written text is understood. The six types of comprehension used in PROBE are as follows:
Finding information that is found directly in the text.
Tommy bought a new, blue car.
Q- What colour was Tommy’s new car?
Reconstructing two or more pieces of information found in the text.
Tommy wanted to buy a new car. At first he didn’t know what colour to choose. Then he looked up at the clear, sunny sky so he chose blue.
Q- What colour was Tommy’s new car?
The text must be reorganised to find the answer.
Deducing information not directly found in the text
Tommy chose a car in the colour of the sky on a clear, sunny morning.
Q- What colour was Tommy’s new car?
The reader has to connect the key words car and colour of the sky and clear, sunny and infer that therefore he chose a blue car.
Determining the meaning of unknown words found in the text.
Tommy was glad he had chosen a blue car but he wondered if it would have been better in a lighter tone.
Q- What does the word tone mean here?
Gathering information and drawing inferences.
Tommy bought a new car. At first he didn’t know what colour to choose. As he sat in the sun thinking about it he looked up at the clear sky. Then he knew what colour he wanted.
Q- What colour do you think Tommy chose? Why do you think that?
The reader must justify their response from the information given in the text.
Expressing an opinion based on the information given in the text
Tommy bought a new car. At first he was not sure what colour to choose. As he sat in the sun thinking about it, he looked up at the clear blue sky. Then he knew what colour he wanted. As Tommy drove around in his new car he saw other cars the same colour as his. He noticed that these cars were sometimes not easily seen by other drivers. But Tommy didn't really mind. He was just happy to drive his shiny, new car.
Q- Do you think Tommy made a good choice of colour for his new car? Why do you think that?
The important point about ‘reaction’ is that only answers that relate to the information given in the text can be accepted.
FATHER’S DAY LITURGY
Thank you to the many families who attended our Liturgy last Friday and to Fr Max for helping celebrate the Liturgy. It was a wonderful celebration of all the people who help our children grow through love. During the Liturgy, Fr Max read the ‘The Parable of the Loving Father’ or as it is commonly known ‘The Parable of the Lost Son’. This passage from the Gospel of Luke reminds us of the unconditional love of God, often experienced within our families. To reflect on the Gospel, our students shared their own beautiful reflections on the love and uniqueness of their fathers and father-figures. Here are just a couple of their responses:
Morris: My Dad is special because he loves me and he looks after me and he takes me on holidays to our big farm.
Josie: My Dad is special because he loves me and takes care of me. My step-dad is special because he always takes care of me and takes me to the beach.
Jacob T: My Dad is special because he makes the best pancakes.
Eve A: My Dad is special because he takes me to the pool.
Archie C: My Dad is special because he passes the ball to me at hockey.
Indy V: My Dad is special because he’s my Dad and no-one elses, except my sister’s.
Zeke: My Dad is special because he’s good at cooking and he takes me to footy every week.
Braith: My Dad is special because he comes in and hugs me when it’s bedtime.
We hope all the fathers, grandfathers and father-figures in our parish-school community had an enjoyable father’s day and thank them for all the joy they bring to our students' lives.
STAGE 1 VISITORS
Stage One had some friendly visitors pop in to say hello this week. Officer Michael and officer Ricky were kind and taught us about their jobs. They even made us laugh!
You may have heard of this organisation. You may have read the well known book “The Resilience Project” (TRP). Many of our staff have read this life-changing book and we recommend it as a great source of wellbeing support. We’ve been fortunate that TRP donated 40 free copies of the 21 Day Journal for our S3 class with the other 25 purchased by our school! The acronym seen in the image above reminds us all to be “GEMs”- people who practise GRATITUDE, EMPATHY and MINDFULNESS in our everyday lives….. A great mindset for resilience!
SAFE TECHNOLOGY USAGE SERIES
We continue to share some important information to support parents and carers to help keep their children safe when using technology. This information has been compiled by those with expertise in the Catholic Schools Office. The fifth in this series discusses how we as parents can help their children to identify a support network.
HELP YOUR CHILD IDENTIFY THEIR SUPPORT NETWORK
In the event that your child experiences an online incident (whether as a target, instigator, or bystander), it's crucial for them to know they have adults they can talk to. Ensure that they understand they can seek help and support, no matter the situation. Take this opportunity to remind them that nothing is too bad to prevent them from reaching out for assistance.
You might like to watch this short 3-minute video about what a Safety Network is. This video helps children to understand the many reasons why they may talk to someone in their safety network and remind them that “unsafe” can be in the online environment or face-to-face. You may choose to use the worksheet from the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
When it comes to online "friends” take the time to talk to your child about being cautious with whom they chat and message online, emphasising the importance of not meeting "online friends" in person. Read together the resource from esafety kids Things to watch out for with online friends.
Additionally, help your child understand the difference between safe and unsafe secrets. Explain that safe secrets include things like surprise birthday parties that everyone knows about except for one person or gifts that will be opened at a special occasion. However, it's essential to teach them the safety rules regarding secrets that are not safe to keep from trusted adults, such as any kind of touch, presents or favours from others, rude photos or movies, someone asking for their photo, discussions about private areas of the body, or anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
By actively engaging in these discussions and activities, you can help your child develop a stronger understanding of their support network, online safety, and the difference between safe and unsafe secrets. There are books that you can read to help your child understand about secrets. Here are some examples.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word – Sunday 10th September 2023
Leader on the day will be Mrs Kate Jones. Children’s Liturgy helps your child grow in their faith and love of Jesus. We encourage you to bring your family to the 8.30am Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary Alstonville Church on Sunday 10th September. The children accompany their family in the church at the beginning of Mass, and then when the Liturgy of the Word commences, the children leave to go to the hall to hear the Word at a level that they can understand. It is designed for children aged from 3 – 12. The activity sheet which follows the Gospel of the day, is age appropriate. All of the Children’s Liturgy Leaders have been verified under the Working with Children Check process. Please feel free to contact the parish office on 6628 3047 should you have any queries.
Around The School
STAGE 2 GET TOGETHER
Come join us for a play and morning tea on Sunday September 24 10am-12pm at Wollongbar skate park . Bring a plate to share, picnic rug, drinks, chairs, scooters, balls. All welcome, including siblings. We'll aim to get one of the tables towards the back of the skate ramp. Hope to see you there.